tv Bloomberg Best Bloomberg February 23, 2019 7:00am-8:00am EST
>> from the technological development standpoint, it is the step in the right direction. all ahead on "bloomberg best." >> hello and welcome i am emma chandra, this is bloomberg best, your weekly review of the most important business news, analysis and interviews from bloomberg television around the world. let's start with the day by day look at the top headlines. tensions between parties in the u.k. parliament steadily rising as the deadline for britain to leave the e.u. approaches. monday, tensions in the labour party came to the surface. >> seven members of parliament have quit the u.k. labour party are they will sit as independents.
>> in all conscience, we can no longer knock on doors and support a government led by jeremy corbyn. >> could this be a beginning of the split of the labour party? huge amounts of unhappiness with jeremy corbyn's leadership, not only on brexit, it is a range of issues. you heard them all talking, around things like relationships with nato, response to the russia situation, syria, all things they disagreed with. they are calling not just the labour party but across the political spectrum. you would imagine more of the anti-brexit wing of the conservative already. time will tell whether it is a small event or something take -- something bigger. >> carmakers bracing for auto
tariffs from president trump after they are delivering a report on whether the u.s. should classify that as a threat to the security. what do we know? >> we don't know much. the commerce department told us in a three line statement the report was in and didn't say anything about what was in the report and what was recommended. you saw the text of this report hitting the auto sector. european carmakers were down significantly. >> the president has 90 days to decide whether he will take the tariffs from 2.5% to 25%. this is a headache for the european union. they have made it clear they would retaliate if these tariffs were to be put in place. >> wal-mart posting strong numbers this morning. best holiday quarter in a decade or they beat the top and bottom line, your biggest take away? >> to me, the most important number was that 43% growth in e-commerce. you may recall last year when walmart reported the shares, they had the worst day since
1988 and it was all about the e-commerce number. they struggle with operational difficulties. the fact they were able to get back in gear on that front and deliver the 4.2 increased built -- increase on comparable sales built on traffic and ticket, that is a well-rounded strong report. >> the u.s. is asking china to keep the value of the yuan stable, part of trade negotiations between the largest economies. how novel is this idea of using the stable yuan as a bargaining chip for trade? >> it is a long-standing concern for the u.s. how china manages its currency. normally, the direction of play that the u.s. has been pushing has been in the opposite direction. they pushed china to play less of a role in intervening in currency markets. here, the trump administration is doing something fairly novel in urging the chinese to try and intervene to do what they want with the yuan.
that is something we are watching carefully and something that is interesting to see. >> this request struck me like the austin powers request for a ransom of $1 million. it is completely reasonable. the pboc also was a stable currency. it seems very resort, very easy -- very bizarre, very easy to accommodate. >> theresa may getting hit with some defections from her conservative party. three tory mp's leaving to join the independent group in parliament. you see developments suggesting a new text being hammered out in brussels. this was out of spain from the spanish government. >> we had an interview with the spanish foreign minister who said progress is being made towards hammering out an accord on brexit. >> it is all about the wording of a legally binding document
that can convince the people, in and inattorney general particular the hard-line brexiteers who think that i that will trap the u.k. into the e.u. forever. >> theresa may inching closer to a new divorce deal. she met with jean-claude juncker. there are signs of talks. she is still facing objections over the irish backstop. she said she is seeking legally binding changes. >> 95% of the deal has been agreed. it is about the irish backstop. the europeans will be -- that language we don't really know, but one of the ideas is they have said before the final deal gets to a vote they would like to see if the u.k. parliament would accept the tweaks the one thing the e.u. hates and would
want to avoid is to have a situation where macron and merkel of very ashley greene and then against rejected by the parliament. and then theresa may is asking for more concessions. that is one thing europeans will not do. >> we are looking at the minutes from the fomc january meeting that shed some light on the dovish turn. it will favor ending the runoff of the balance sheet this year but they express uncertainty over whether they would raise rates this year. what was the number one take away you? >> for me, the signaling that they had it on the balance sheet. the fact is most appropriate to end the balance sheet this year,
we don't know when that will be. we know the balance sheet unwind will stop. >> to us, it sounds like the minutes were dovish compared to the statements area it sounds like there is some bias towards hiking. the timing of the next move is uncertain. --fering to ramp up this comes as the latest round of high-level talks taking off in washington this morning. we already knew china was offering to buy more soybeans back in december. what is the latest offering from china? >> this is from bloomberg news, china offered to buy 30 billion more. what does it mean, what time, what commodities?
if you are talking about soybeans -- well 2017, about $24 billion. that was the last clean reader. their demand is not going to go up 30 billion by year. they might demand more from the u.s. and less from other places, we don't know. >> the european union is looking for theresa may -- may to request a three-month delay to brexit. if parliament backs a deal for those that isn't signed off until the summit later in march. >> this is an acknowledgment of how close things are getting. even if mrs. may gets something through parliament, the expectation is there is not enough time to complete the legislation needed to have the orderly exit on march 29. the europeans are expecting that now. mrs. may can call
it a technical extension of a just a few months. but we have conversation and european parliamentary elections in may. they are trying to exclude the possibility, and we may see more moves in the following week. >> trade talks wrapping up in washington as steven mnuchin says the u.s. and china have reached a final agreement on currency. >> they are saying there is a deal on agriculture and currency. the president might use executive order to restrict the sale of huawei 5g technology in the u.s. there really was no finalization regarding intellectual property or technology transfer. executive extending his stay in washington, d.c. by two additional days. the president said that is a sign of positive talks. the question becomes when exactly will there be a final deal made. president trump and president xi
could come face-to-face as early as next month. >> speaking for the united states, i would say it is more likely the deal does happen. that doesn't mean it is going to happen. >> reviewing the week on bloomberg best, more discussion of the biggest issues facing global investors including china's economic slowdown and the impacts of brexit. with insights from jes staley. we have various guests. more reports from companies around the world. >> continue to be cautious until we see how the revenue environment plays out this year. >> this is bloomberg. ♪
>> leaving the stoxx 600 lower. these are earnings from hsbc. key markets over china and the u.k., maybe the prognosis of 2019 for less predictable. >> we continue to be cautious until we see how the revenue environment plays out. it is volatile revenue outlook as we look at the year. >> the nasty fourth-quarter that took the stuffing out of it. a lot of banks in its field. we expected more growth. they tried to shrink the upbeat note in the call. they cited higher interest rates raising lending revenue in certain markets. they said the first six weeks of the year had been promising in global markets and the investment banking business, so they are trying to raise expectations. >> bhp coming up a little short in 2019. the mining giant missed
earnings. >> mines in australia had training derailment, problems like copper mining. earnings were a little lighter than expected. also, there were no real new cash immediately for dividends. people were optimistic about the rest of the year. iron or prices are flying. they are one of the worlds biggest iron ore producers. they are optimistic about cash flow. that is likely to meet bigger payouts, buybacks for investors later in the year. >> fortescue metals with a 5% dip in half year profits. the miner beat the earnings estimates thanks to higher prices. shares managed to creep up to two-year highs. how are you looking at pricing
in the next few months? >> we are not focused on the outlook for iron ore prices. it's hard to predict. we are looking at delivering on our strategy, getting funds, being the lowest-cost producer and we saw that come through in the first half results. we saw the increase and underlying -- those up $21 per ton and this was strong improvement in our results overall. planning to cap call oal output because of climate change. significant shift on coal but i am wondering if we might get a positive reaction from investors. >> the buyback and large dividends. they are saying that -- one of their copper operations. it is bullish for the copper but not as much as the company.
it is a hodgepodge of strange stuff. coal, that's not as surprising. anyone who has listened to them knows they are bullish on coal. the numbers suggested they were going to keep burning for many decades to come. but it shows investor pressure on even the mining companies its s quite fierce. >> the company has put itself in a commodity crisis firmly behind it. they cut their net debt for a fourth straight year after a full year of earnings estimates. what is the signature piece of this turnaround you have engineered? >> the productivity improvements we have delivered. every person in the business today is producing double the amount of product they were producing five years ago. that has driven a 43% real cost cutting process.
our margins are up about 35%. even though our prices are down 10% compared to numbers five years ago. earnings which beat the estimates on adjusted operating profit level. 50% of revenue comes from the 50% of revenue comes from the u.s. they have iron expansion around the world. where is the strongest growth for you across the world? >> we had a solid set of results last year. we were up 2.5%. our best results in a decade effectively. we were signing and opening more hotels than decades ago. we are seeing great growth across the world, growing the existing brand and launching and buying new brands. >> a conglomerate coming to an end, the biggest shipping line
has announced the spinoff of its drilling unit and the stock is among the biggest losers in europe today, and probably not because of the spinoff but more likely the forecast for profit missing analyst estimates. why did the analysts overestimate profitability for 2019? >> we see a world economy that is growing less this year than last year. we see a lot of trade tensions, of course negotiations ongoing between the u.s. and china. seems like they are passed -- have positive momentum but it is not the less of trade tensions even if a deal is made because the u.s. also want to have a discussion with europe. and we see an oil price that is creeping up which affects our input costs. >> the telecoms forecast for 2019 earnings fell short, now facing driving regional competition, they are prepared
to invest billions on 5g. this morning, the chief confidentsaid he is sprint merger will be approved. talk to me about this merger. you say it will go through. you were in the u.s. the last couple of weeks. who did you speak to and what makes you think it will happen? >> we have now one year of approval process for the thousands of contents we have had. trying to convince customers and politicians about this, the 5g network we were going to build in the u.s., thinking about the competitiveness which you want to strengthen with the merger of sprint. in the first half of 2019, we are waiting for the transaction per we got already the approval from the authorities. now we are looking for the doj
and others. >> shares of kraft heinz plunging after hours or the food and beverage conglomerate brought down the values of some of its most well-known brands by a total of $50.4 billion. what does this tell you about the state of their business? >> there is a lot of bad news. that is a very big number to be writing down the value. oscar meyer as well. they missed on etf's. one thing these guys do is keep profits strong. they cut costs. sales has been elusive, but to miss on profits, costs were higher than expected. there is a subpoena, they got a question about procurement, so this is bad news for kraft heinz. ♪
>> welcome back. traders outperformed while the ceo promised more dividends and share buybacks since you begin -- he began his tenure in 2015. we started talking about the prospects of brexit and how it is affecting the financial sector. >> consumer or small business or corporates, we are actually not seeing yet any sign of stress in terms of credit quality. we have the provision of $150 million in the fourth quarter just to be cautious and to be prudent. actually, what we are seeing is
increases in cash levels. our deposit base is growing more than one might expect. right now, the economy itself is not correcting for troubles in the brexit market. people are clearly being increasingly cautious as we come to the final weeks and hopefully not much longer of uncertainty around brexit. right now, the economy is reasonably in good shape. it is wise for the banking industry to be prudent in terms of extending credit and how we manage credit given the uncertainty of brexit. >> brexit is one of the uncertainties markets are grappling with, not least trade war and also the fed minutes yesterday. we are seeing equities rally today, questions over whether that rally has further to run. what is your view? >> clearly we are seeing growth slow in the global economy.
very much in europe. we have a proper recession in italy. clear signs of weakness in germany, issues in asia as well. the challenge that the market is wrestling with is very low interest rates on one level. those support asset valuations that are higher. the flipside is if we go into a recession, the bullets the central banks around the world have to use to try to support a stronger economy are limited. >> that was the barclays ceo, jes staley. we will have more from the banking sector with several european lenders in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. coming up, it is back to brexit and all the uncertainty that was one piece of news that got the city of london breathing a sigh of relief.
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"bloombergwatching "bloomberg best." i'm emma chandra. top executives from companies reporting earnings spoke with bloomberg throughout the week, and the conversation to go macro turn toward discussions of turn toward discussions of economic headwinds and political uncertainty and cloudy forecast for global growth in the eu and china. let's start with the hsbc chief financial officer, who talked about the bank's overall outlook with manus cranny. >> how did the china slowdown
manifest itself in your numbers? >> it was surprising to see that at all in 2018 numbers. we had revenue growth in hong kong, 14% in mainland china, and international customer revenues were up 7% for the year. i think where we are seeing some credit softness is in the u.k., and the uk's the market i would be more concerned about at the moment than hong kong. >> you have capital to deploy i n the u.k. i hear you are rapidly trying to grow market share. is that hard in the current environment? >> no, the team did a great job last year. revenues were up 7% in the u.k., mortgage growth at 10%. we took another 50 basis points of market share so we are certainly able to take the share we want to take at the moment, and are able to grow the u.k. business. i think we are cautious on the outlook for credit, given the lack of certainty on the direction of the u.k. economy. >> let's talk a little bit about what's happening in china, and
the slowdown. do you have any material impact on your business as a result? are you seeing any slowdown in terms of exports? >> know, we are not seeing a slowdown in china. we are not seeing a slowdown in china. china released the official crude production for the calendar year, that was up 12% to 928 million pounds, a record year of crude steel production. we see that continuing, driving strong demand for steel and iron ore. and let's not forget that the chinese government is investing in infrastructure, whether it is rail or airports, there significant investment continuing, driving demand for steel and iron ore. we are not seeing a slowdown in demand. >> we have been planning for a no deal brexit for the last four or five months. it is a prudent thing to do.
passengers can be confident they can still fly, still book ahead, even with the no deal brexit. plans are in place to achieve that. the u.k. government and the eu have done a good job of listening to the concerns about the business to make sure trade and passengers keep on flowing, even in a no deal brexit. >> how is air cargo holding up? is it increasing as people prepare? do people want to get out of the country quicker than they would normally? >> so cargo is very stabilized at the moment. most of that the trading routes are quite full. but we are preparing for the possibility that there will be more cargo between the u.k. between the u.k. and the e.u., traveling by air, just in case there is any congestion. we'll have extra facilities available for that and we will
manage that smoothly, to make sure business can keep on flowing between u.k. and the eu. >> as negotiators put together a brexit deal, one was officially solved this week. eu derivatives traders will still be able to use london clearing houses, even if the u.k. leaves the bloc with no deal in place. the mayor of london praised the decision in an interview with bloomberg television. >> the regulators on both sides of the channel have really worked to put in measures to ensure stability. it's been highly responsive on both sides, a very good outcome. >> we also had officials from the ecb saying the majority of brexit offers were banks, those authorization related banks have been
completed. they say they want banks to invest in supervision. what's your take on that? >> both sides, the fca and ecb have really sought to ensure business. there are still, i think, some fine-tuning required, but either way, whether it is in no deal or deal, we'll get financial stability. >> when you talk about continuity of investment, how difficult is it, in your outward -- overall outlook, to sell investment in london, to strengthen the investment trade ties, when there is no certainty when it comes to policy? you look at the various outcomes, and it is not even very binary. >> so you are right. in terms of the uncertainty, it has been very frustrating. in many ways, what brexit is asking is huge levels of innovation that have taken place in the city and across the u.k. last year, we had another growth
of 18% in venture capital gain in fintech, innovation in cyber, life-sciences. in many ways, i'm very confident that as we look beyond brexit we are going to enjoy a period of growth associated with the industrial revolution. that's where the u.k.'s strengths are. >> also this week, south africa put forward its 2019 budget. the government projects the widest deficit in a decade, and announced it will spend almost $5 billion over the next two years to bailout escon, the nation's struggling power company. plan hasganization drawn opposition from labor unions. bloomberg spoke with the chairman of escon and south africa's public finance minister about the controversial proposal. 23 23 billion --it's not all we
needed. there's a lot of pressure. what approach will you take then? optimistic. all of us need to put the national interests first. there will be more job losses if this entity is unable to deliver the energy security required by the economy. i think we are going to have intensive consultation and discussion, and begin to envision a very different future for escon.
there are differences, for example, municipalities, africa and many parts of the country have a deficit in terms of -- there are other possibilities in terms of staying within the escon environment itself. it's all of these possibilities we need to explore. even on the financial side, as announced yesterday, it's the beginning of what the states can do and what escon can do, can are other mechanisms being considered. once we have the details we will announce. escon is receiving intense attention from government itself, and we intend to bring all stakeholders together to solve the problem. ♪
>> this is "bloomberg best." let's continue our global talk of the week's top business stories with a bloomberg scoop probing the business relationship between the president of the united states and a major european bank. >> a top executive at deutsche bank is concerned after donald trump won the presidential election in 2016. bloomberg learned that the german lender was about to default on $400 million of loans from him. the vice president of the trump organization said it was nonsense. what does this go to the heart of? is it the heart of the
relationship between deutsche bank and the trump plc? do they still have that relationship? >> it does shine a light on what the relationship with donald trump meant for deutsche bank, because they do have a strong business relationship with donald trump. it surprised people at the bank, who are struggling to come to terms with it. it was obvious that donald trump or his organization would default on loans in 2023 and 2024, and it shows how much was going on. >> ubs has been ordered to pay $5.1 million after the bank was found guilty of assisting wealthy french stash cash. the french probe has been going for eight years. how big of a problem is this for ubs, given that it has been going on forever? >> it's eight years and they still want to appeal it. the fine is large, probably the
bank has hadthat a to pay france, if it's. -- if it is confirmed that benefit of appeal is that they can keep being dragged on. they have another fine they have to do with the u.s. justice department as well regarding mortgage backed securities, that could be another $2 billion. it shows how much it will be added up together. >> socgen is drawing up plans to cut jobs in the investment bank. bloomberg sources say the bank could cut hundreds or even thousands of jobs, including roles in support functions in the investor solutions unit. give us what we know here so it tod when we expect happen. >> it's difficult times for european banks. they have been under pressure in
training at the end of the year, and banks still need to make efforts. socgen announced a couple weeks ago and now the understanding is that in terms of the jobs effort, it's going to be pretty massive. it's early stage, but it is something that will be quite important. >> ecb officials are setting up their meeting in two weeks as a key, key meeting to decide if the euro area slowdown is bad enough to warrant some sort of attention. we are hearing that a lot of action is being taken to ready the research around it, but the ecb is taking a very calm approach. >> we today got the counter the
-- ocount this will impact the liquidity of the banking sector, and to what extent this could hurt credit probes in the future. i think that is where the discussions will focus. >> nigeria's president says the election commission is incompetent, this after a vote scheduled for this past weekend was postponed hours before polling was meant to start. do we know why it was pulled? >> the election commission said it was down to logistics. it includes all the elections, local and state elections, something that involves 90 parties and 23,000 candidates and 84 million registered voters.
they say it has nothing to do with security or political interference, but both the main parties are saying accusations against each other. one party said the election commission was in cahoots with the opposition, and the election commission is standing by what it said from the start, that logistics, nothing else. >> the indian government has won $4 billion ahead of the upcoming elections. narendra modi seeks funds for populist measures. how did the r.b.i. come to this decision? how big a role did the governor play in this decision? >> this is a process the r.b.i. generated in the first half of
the financial year. now, the r.b.i. holds domestic and foreign currency assets of about $400 billion, profit generated from treasury operations. that is the production cost in the value of the currency. to your second question, the qu question is yes and no, but one gets the feeling that last year, the government made a demand and there was a bit of pushback from the governor. this time around, we didn't see that kind of pushback, and the demand was met immediately. >> in a bid to rival silicon valley, china's policymakers are aiming to tie hong kong and macau closer to the mainland, as they build a high-tech the industry with global
aspirations. what is the outlook for this enormous plan? >> if you think about this whole region, 67 million people, if you put it all together, it would be a $1 trillion economy. it's a massive economic fear. yet, hong kong and macau are separated with different legal systems, different political systems, different monetary policy. they should all be the same, according to beijing. the idea is that if you can somehow integrate them, you will be able to drive regional development and economic growth. >> the prime minister says things are still rosy with china as she faces pressure from opposition lawmakers after the government said it has major security concerns about lending huawei. are there any signs that china might be retaliating against new zealand over huawei? >> all the staff earlier this month was down for shanghai, forced to turn around midflight because they didn't have the right paperwork to land. it seems relatively innocuous at
the time, but there were signs that china was growing unhappy with new zealand. the prime minister visited -- the prime minister's been to beijing, which has in the works for quite some time, remains in limbo because of scheduling issues. it does look a bit like china is trying to send new zealand the message, and the opposition is quick to jump on that. >> samsung has unveiled a new in sanof handsets francisco. the tech giant initiated new phones with a price tag of more than $2000. at that price point, will it galvanize anyone to renew their phone? >> no, i don't think so. [laughter] i have a feeling it is going to be a bit of a novelty.
but, honestly, from a technological development standpoint, it really is a big step in the right direction.i foldable technology will get integrated across product lines with all vendors overtime, and samsung is the innovator and the first to do it. in that sense, it is an important launch. will it sell? we will see. >> tesla's general counsel left after just two months in the wake of elon musk's run-in with fec regulators. we did see that elon musk tweet on production numbers. he had to retract that. just hours later, this announcement of the general counsel leaving. the two, were they linked at all? >> no, i don't think so. i think the departure was going to be announced, and it was just unfortunate timing that it came after the tweet. it brings up the whole question
of elon and social media, and if there is anyone monitoring the tweets before they go out. >> bernie sanders is giving it another go. to vermont senator has announced he will run for the democratic presidential nomination in 2020. have any of his policies changed, or is it just a more favorable environment for a self-described socialist to come back and hit the campaign trail? >> well, one of the policies he promoted in 2016 he is promoting again, but it has shifted. he lit a lot of fires under progressives, young people, and energizing them for 2016. there's now a lot of candidates in the democratic race, being fires, mostose same notably elizabeth warren.
so, he has a real challenge here in trying to set himself out from the rest of the pack. he's not quite got the unique position he did before. >> one of the most influential fashion designers has died. a longtime artistic director at chanel among many other names, to almost anyone you could name. he worked for fendi and his own label. he was 85. how did he manage to keep chanel at the very top all those decades? >> although he was 85 years old, he was young at heart. he would take chanel ideas and reinterpret them for a modern age. you have the iconic handbags and tweed suits. he had a youngs following. >> karl lagerfeld, in memoriam.
>> bloomberg television launches a new, one-hour program showcasing the global reach of bloomberg news and the power and intelligence of the bloomberg terminal. it will be anchored by tom mackenzie and yvonne man and david ingles. it will bring you all the market moves as they happen, sharp analysis of the economic and policy aspects that matter. we will be speaking with big names, u.s. china business council, china asset management, and a china chairman. that is weekdays from 8:00 p.m. new york time, 1:00 a.m. london
time 9:00 a.m. hong kong on bloomberg television. now, as we come to the end of another week, the clock continues to tick toward march 29, when britain is scheduled to leave the eu under the terms of article 50. it is unclear what kind of brexit the uk's heading towards. so, how can investors play sterling? here is what we have been hearing. >> as brexit uncertainty continues to swirl, some analysts are trying to forecast events that many of their peers have said is untradable. naraj patel says that in the event of the shift toward a softer brexit, he'll strength in -- cable will strength between 1.38 and 1.40, and that a hard brexit could still boost the pound. he says it could settle between 1.34 and 1.35.
but, with the u.k. in political limbo, it would be the worst of all, taking it to 1.30. hsbc says staying in the eu could give sterling a surge, a level not seen since 2016, but that a next it from the bloc exit from the bloc without a trade deal could be disastrous, bringing cable down to 1.10, a level it hasn't fallen to in years. none of these forecasts are the worst-case scenario. a disorderly brexit could see the pound dropped to below parity with the dollar. with time running out, with or without a deal, who knows where sterling will end up trading? >> stay tuned to bloomberg television for all the latest developments on brexit and all related business news and analysis, available on bloomberg.com as well, 24 hours a day. that will be all for "bloomberg best" this week. thanks for watching. i'm emma chandra. this is bloomberg. ♪